Zamia pumila

(Photo by Phillip Lowe)

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Taxonomy (1,2,3)

Classification: Gymnosperm
Family: Zamiaceae
Common name: Zamia, Coontie Palm, Coontie

General Information (1,3,4)

Region of Origin: Florida
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 8b-11
Growth Habit: Shrub

  • Size: 3-5 feet
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
  • Coning: Late winter

Diagnostic Characteristics

Leaves (2)

  • Simple/Compound: Compound
  • Other: 60-120cm; revolute; petioles prickly

Pollen Cone (2)

  • Color: Rusty brown
  • Size: 3-15cm
  • Shape: Cylindrical

Seed Cone (2)

  • Size: 6-15cm
  • Shade: Elongate-ovoid
  • Color: Reddish

Horticultural Information (1,2,3,4)

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Sand, sandy loam
  • Maintenance: Easy to care for
  • Landscape Uses: Groundcover, shady gardens, transition plant, containers 
  • Other: Salt tolerant, drought tolerant

Interesting Facts (1,4)

  • Poisonous when eaten raw
  • Used in bonsai
  • Starch from this plant was used for bread


1) Coontie palm. (2009). Retrieved from
2) Zamia pumila. (n.d.). Retrieved from
3) Zamia pumila. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4) Scheper, J. (1997, January 01). Zamia pumila. Retrieved from

Prepared by Phillip Lowe as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek